How to Become a Creative Director: Part 2
The Creative Director Skill List
Get curious about the craft.

The path to becoming a creative director means stepping out of the familiar realm of only being a creative. When Lucia Matioli, senior creative director at Udemy, was first starting out on her journey to becoming a CD, she started asking the right questions: the “why” and “how” behind products and experiences.

In this episode of Real Creative Leadership, Adam Morgan chats with Lucia Matioli, senior creative director at Udemy. Lucia shares insights on how she learned strategy by working to deeply understand the experiences she advertised, instead of staying in her prescribed lane.

Tune in to learn:

  • How to handle the essential discomfort that comes with learning strategy
  • 3 key personality traits to develop to become a creative director
  • How to have purpose while managing your craft, team, and clients
  • Why it’s important to have a mentor even once you’re a CD
mentioned in this show:
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Adam Morgan
Executive Creative Director Adobe
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The Stoke Group
Digital Marketing and Full-Service Content Agency

Guest Speaker

Lucia Matioli

Udemy Senior Global Creative Director

Lucia Matioli, senior global creative director at Udemy, has been working as a creative director and consultant for over 25 years. Before Udemy, Lucia shared her talents at companies including Netflix, Levi Strauss, Gap, GoPro, and more. In her own words, she enjoys blending “strategy, design, and storytelling to deliver unique brand experiences for companies of all sizes.”

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Transcript

Lucia Matioli:

It's really important to me to be able to move through this profession as somebody who wants to give back and who actually really cares about management and cares about that relationship to my team.

Adam Morgan:

Welcome to Real Creative Leadership, a place where creative leaders can find insights and practical guidance on the day-to-day job of being a creative leader. We focus on real issues, topics, and insights of creativity in the business world. Join me as we explore the best strategies for developing your team, getting others to embrace your vision, and generating amazing experiences. This webinar series is produced by The Stoke Group. I'm your host, Adam Morgan, Adobe Executive Creative Director, and author of Sorry Spock, Emotions Drive Business. And this is Real Creative Leadership.

Adam Morgan:

Today I am super excited to talk to Lucia Matioli. She is going to give us her perspective on an interesting topic, which is how do you make that jump from a senior creative to a creative director. And a lot of us have either gone through it or we're hoping to go through it. And there are so many questions about making that jump because the difference between just working on the craft and managing teams and managing a whole process and having the vision and understanding leadership and marketing strategy and business strategy is just such a big, big change. So we're going to dig deep into that topic with Lucia today. We're so excited to hear from her experiences, but let me first start out by introducing Lucia. Lucia comes from us. She is the senior creative director and global creative at Udemy. And she runs a large team, the global team of building and creating learning content on their learning platform.

Adam Morgan:

But before that, she has an interesting career path. She started out as an art director at The Gap and Old Navy where she was responsible for brand development and in-store marketing. And after that, she launched her own design firm, Good Thinking Co. where she worked with startups like Netflix and Levi Strauss, and later on moved to New York where she worked with clients like Ecko Unltd. After that, she moved over to Marc Ecko Enterprises and worked as an in-house role as vice president and creative director. And from there, she moved on to working with a variety of clients such as AT&T, Xerox, Thomson Reuters and Delta Air Lines. And now she comes to us as the senior creative director of Udemy.

Adam Morgan:

I'm so excited to have her here because she's got such a good background in building and managing teams. And we're going to talk about this topic of making the jump to creative director and learning from her experience of how she's helped teams and helped individuals make that leap, and also her own personal journey of becoming a creative director. Welcome to Real Creative Leadership.

Lucia Matioli:

Thanks, Adam. I'm so happy to be here.

Adam Morgan:

This is great. We also share some Italian heritage. She's Italian and I'm just a want to be Italian, so that's a great connection right off the start.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. But as Italians go, we're happy to accept anybody who wants to be Italian. So no big deal.

Adam Morgan:

That's bad. It's not like some other countries that they want to [inaudible 00:03:09]. That's great.

Lucia Matioli:

Exactly.

Adam Morgan:

All right. So today's dialogue of how to make that next step to creative director. First, I want to start out before we get into how we help others, it would be great to hear about your journey. Talk to us about as you made that step from being a senior creative and moving up to creative director, what were some of the lessons learned or milestones for you?

Lucia Matioli:

Oh boy. Probably not enough time to go through everything. It's such an interesting path actually and one that changes a lot. So when I started out... It's always interesting to me when you go from an education and you're just kind of launched into this whole array of new processes, new people, new discovery, et cetera, et cetera, that you just can't even begin to perceive when you're in school and... So I started off. I think the most significant steps for me were ones at The Gap where I was the second creative hired at Old Navy. It was at the inception of that brand which was amazing.

Lucia Matioli:

We had amazing leadership there and as it goes, I think there's a balance when we're talking about moving up the ranks. One is that I've always been very passionate. I'm one of those types of people who I don't consider myself ever one of those... somebody who sits on the sidelines. I really like to get in and challenge and not just to hear my own voice either, but to do the right thing when it comes to the work and the story-building and the strategy around a creative and I think probably that has more to do with my trajectory than even the work itself. So starting off at Old Navy, I was just found myself in these positions of being able to take on more responsibility and then start managing people and kind of going from there and even I'll say that. So getting that experience of working internally, working at an agency, working at a design firm, but like specifically internally I think, the trajectory has kind of exploded off the planet.

Lucia Matioli:

The other thing is running my own business in conjunction with these things. So having to pull people together to manage your project load, having to scale and... I run a really small agency, basically sole proprietorship, so I would scale and then restrict if you will, or cut back the people that's needed per project. But that enabled me to be very agile and then it also gave me the insight to just kind of wearing a bunch of different hats so that I got to see kind of the ecosystem of what a PM's role was, what account manager role was, what a marketing myself sort of strategy and having to do all that on top of the creative, on top of managing people. I think that really gave me a foot hole into just kind of that leadership. It's like it's different in a way when you have again, referring back to that passion when it's your business, it's your work, you're putting yourself forward.

Lucia Matioli:

I think that table stakes shift a little bit where you're kind of... My perception was always I'm only as good as my last project kind of thing. And I think it helped just facilitate that continued moving forward. And so I mean my background is really varied. I've done a bunch of different things. I've done things for myself, I've done things for other people, I've done things for design agencies, ad agencies, internal agencies. So I think all of these things kind of gave me sort of the next piece, the next piece, the next piece, the next piece. However, I will say as I mentioned, it's also just part of my character. I enjoy working with people and management is challenging, but I enjoy problem solving. Sort of always from a creative perspective that bigger picture. What is the strategy? What is the purpose? What are we doing and why are we doing it? But also from a team building perspective. Having to come in and create a culture and cultivate trust and all of this.

Lucia Matioli:

So they've really been... and I've heard this too. I'll say this because I think this is actually important. As a woman in leadership, especially creative leadership you have to, in my opinion, you have to carve out that voice for yourself and continue to push forward. And I think for me there was always that I applied for jobs that felt out of my range and I just kept putting myself forward and having sort of that face and trust and belief that I would be able to figure it out as I went along.

Lucia Matioli:

But honestly, you're kind of flying by the seat of your pants. That's how I felt like. A lot of my career, it was like flying by the seat of my pants and I think that's why I was a consultant for a really long time because there was comfort in the chaos somehow. And also to have all the pieces kind of come together it's like, Oh my God, this is really happening. So yeah. I mean, I don't know if I quite fully answered your question. It's kind of roundabout, but yeah, that's been my experience.

Adam Morgan:

Oh, you did great. In fact, there are so many good nuggets that I want to go back and address one at a time on each of them. So the first one that is really critical and just to set the ground rules a little bit for those listening, so many times and this was the myth that I believed early on in my career as a creative career, it was that the way to get to leadership is through the craft. I thought that if I just got better and better as a writer or designer, then one day the world will see my glory and make me a creative director.

Adam Morgan:

And I think to dispel that myth and really talk about the things that you did that got you to where you are, one of the first ones you mentioned was strategy. And there was a saying of, some of the best doers are strategic thinkers. So let's talk a bit more about it because I think opening your mind up to strategy and not just thinking the craft... Let's talk a bit more about how that helps you become a greater creative leader and creative director and all of those things.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. I think that's really key and I'm glad that you sort of sifted through and pulled that up again. That to me, when you're thinking about or when I'm thinking about a brand, bringing a brand to life, connecting with the consumer, I'm really thinking about experience. And there are all these little things that lead up to that, but they're almost like tactics. And this is something actually I have a lot of conversations about especially with designers. It's like no, you're jumping from point a to point z and there's the rest in the middle which is part of that process. Continuing to ask why? What is the purpose? Why are we doing this? And if you can't answer solidly from... I think this is kind of in my career now, where I'm at. That business perspective as well as the creative perspective, they have to live in unison and harmony.

Lucia Matioli:

So I think really kind of asking those questions and digging deeper is really where I think the creative hangs its hat on. Without strategy, I can't do anything that's substantial. I'm not moving the needle. I'm not adding to the organization as a whole. I mean, I like that kind of problem solving thinking of look, let's try to see what we're doing from a creative output. Eventually when we get there, we'll have the ability to move the needle in terms of conversation we're having with our users or our customers or audience or what have you.

Lucia Matioli:

Ours or our audience or what have you. And that to me is really important and it's also really important to understand. I really believe that design and creativity serves, right? We serve people, we serve our organization, we serve our clients, we serve our consumers, et cetera. So really understanding fundamentally what people are lacking, what they're missing, what the connection that we can have and we can bring to that conversation is like the sweet spot I think that leads to great creative work.

Lucia Matioli:

It's true, there's a lot of people especially designers, let me clarify that, designers who enter and myself included, I never thought I would be thinking about the business. I always thought, and this was early days, I thought, to your point I just want to make beautiful design, I just want to make good design and when I started out it's like signage, let's take that for example.

Lucia Matioli:

You have to lead somebody along the journey of where to get to, and the path of least resistance, you could make it a happy one, et cetera. Same thing with product design now, you're helping somebody navigate something, get to an experience that is a happy journey along the way. In continuing to connect the dots with the experience and thinking that way, I think that's what creates really interesting problems to solve.

Lucia Matioli:

Really interesting challenges to me are like give me a challenge, we're dealing with this huge challenge at work. And I was telling somebody the other day, I was like, "Not like this, but like so much for the brand." I really want to get in the weeds and solve this problem because this will actually help and not only help our brand and our company, but help the consumer. And I was like, "We can figure this out, that's the success to me."

Lucia Matioli:

This person who's on strategy was also like, "Oh my God, I'm thinking the same way." I think just grounding in those types of... Look if creatives we're problem solvers and I think it takes a really unique mindset to do this work, and I find that when I see those light bulbs going off for designers, especially junior designers, mid-level designers to show the potential, it's a really great experience.

Adam Morgan:

Some interesting things that you mentioned, it's funny for me. In my experience, there's a lot of times that I'll be talking with someone who is working on that transition and the question will be like, "Why do I need to do the job of the strategist? Isn't that their job to do that part?" And I don't think that's the point at all.

Adam Morgan:

We're not saying, learn strategies so that you can be a strategist. We got into this business because we love the craft, we love making things beautiful, making emotional experiences. And you were right when you hit on the experience part. But as you become a leader, your role of understanding strategy, so you can do that problem solving, so you can work with the strategist, you have to understand the problem before you can bring a creative solution. If you don't, then it doesn't connect.

Adam Morgan:

So I think that's why we, on other shows, we've talked about it as a talking khaki, learning both business strategy and marketing strategy. You have to learn to speak the language of business casuals in order to bring your solutions to the table. So I think that's really, really critical.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. Totally. Let me just interject something. I think it can be really uncomfortable, an uncomfortable process I think. You mentioned the marketing strategy. Marketing as sort of the Seattle [lady M] word, don't say it. It's about bad word. No, but I think it's something right when you're talking about numbers and ROI, it can be very daunting and I think also like really painful.

Lucia Matioli:

I'll just speak for myself, when I first started getting accustomed to especially performance marketing, I was like, "This is not in my wheelhouse, it's not my soul, it doesn't live anywhere in my body." But to be able to just harness that as an experience and also bring to it something different, shift it. I have found that my comfort level has increased and also, it doesn't mean that it has to be coupons that come in the mail. You know what I mean?

Adam Morgan:

Yap

Lucia Matioli:

That's what I mean about the richness, it has been astounding and surprising to me that the richness of the creative profession of all of the different things we get to learn. That's why I mentioned, when I got launched out of school into this world of other, I really had to get used to and embrace. It wasn't always comfortable, and I've even challenged myself of recent.

Lucia Matioli:

I become bored and I want to push myself further. Well, I don't know that what happens if I've earned it and then put my passion and intention and strategic hat on to try and frame it into something different. To me, that's where the creative really lives and it's interesting. I think for me, this professional just keeps going and going and going in ways that I had no idea. When I first started, somebody was to tell me I would be here right now. Today, I'd be like, "Get out of here."

Adam Morgan:

Listen, so many things you talked about that are great. When we're taking that next step, the uncomfort. That's a good sign that you are going in the right direction, if you're uncomfortable because the craft and other things, as we work up, it starts to get easier. And if you're really planning and plotting ahead on your creative career, feeling that uncomfort is a really good sign that you're learning something new, your creativity is expanding for sure.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. Well, uncomfortability I think is you learning, right? We get to learn and I think that's, to your point, it's a good indicator of that. If you're not uncomfortable, you're not learning. To me, that's a deadly thing that I watch out for. If I'm not uncomfortable and I'm just doing, I'll sit in that for maybe a little bit, and then I'm like, "All right, what's next?" kind of thing.

Lucia Matioli:

I'm just that person, I like a challenge, I like a really big challenge, I like a scary challenge. I just like it, I don't know. Because when you get through it, it's like, "Holy crap. I did that." It's awesome.

Adam Morgan:

I think there are a lot of creative people who have that same feeling where you love the unknown, you love uncertainty, you like to dig into things and try new things. That's kind of ADD in all of us as creatives, to try that.

Adam Morgan:

The other thing I wanted to go back to a little bit is, as people are wanting to make this shift to a creative director, there really isn't a lot of guidance out there in this world. There's no training, we don't learn it in college, we don't learn how to make that jump. So, with that lack of training, tell me in your experience, how has that promotion happened? I always joke that it's people just get promoted as a retention strategy sometimes, which is terrible. But how have you seen or experienced other people going through that process without knowing what they're getting into?

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. This is one I think I find really challenging, but I find really interesting. It's actually, it's really important to me, to be able to move through this profession as somebody who wants to give back and who actually really cares about management and cares about that relationship to my team.

Lucia Matioli:

Some people are going to come along and some people aren't, some people have that spark, I know what I see it, I can feel it now, right away. For me, the trajectory again, has been a very odd one. I have jumped around a lot in my career. I am now settling in, I have had so much experienced, here and there with that, managing teams on my own, managing teams for an agency.

Lucia Matioli:

I will say within my career path, I've had and I can count them, two people who have been mentors and who have been really good managers and who have cared and I've seen them shaped teams and really give back and really foster and nurture talent, not only talent, but also management. So, there's a couple of things.

Lucia Matioli:

So with those two people, one of them is currently a mentor that I ask and I have an open relationship and dialogue. I've known this person for over 12 years, the other one I've known for close to 20 years. I utilize both of them at different times to ask for help and I think that's also part of it, having that desire to grow around creative.

Lucia Matioli:

This is where I think it gets tricky because in my opinion, and it's what I've experienced, there's a ton of ego in this profession, just so much ego. And it's like, I don't know. "I really truly care about my craft, but I also care about the client and I care about the job to be done." To me that is more important than, as you were mentioning the end result, although I always strive to create experiences that are beautiful and expressive and aspirational, et cetera, et cetera. But there needs to be that tie to the purpose.

Lucia Matioli:

So with that, I don't know, I feel part of it is being in the right place at the right time. Also, again, wanting to further and question my own desire in terms of, what am I doing. Also for me, I believe the reason why I'm where I am is to really work with a team and the team that I walked into is much different today than it was when I walked into.

Lucia Matioli:

It was like, "Oh my God, am I going to be able to do this? What is actually happening here?" It's a lot of questioning, it's a ton of patience, but I think it's, we all know when we find that person who has something and that you know you can trust that person to help you out. But I think it's a very individualistic kind of thing and there are just people within this profession who...

Lucia Matioli:

There are just people within this profession who, I don't know, want to give back. And I think it's like finding those people and aligning with them. And then it's also doing the work quite frankly. You know, I think it's like a balance. So you've got to have, from my experience... I've always wanted something more. And I've also really cared about like there's a bunch of women that I mentor as well. In the creative profession, as I mentioned, it can be really imbalanced sometimes. And I think it's asking questions and also being open and doing the work. It's hard work. It's, in my opinion, it's extremely hard work to be a good leader and a good manager.

Lucia Matioli:

And I also have like a really good manager who isn't within the creative profession right now. And this person is helping me continue to be a good leader. And being a good leader, like, "Oh my God, there's so much, I do not know." You know, there's some things I know, and then there's some things I definitely do not know. And being able to say, "Hey, I need help with this." Or, "I don't know this." Not like I don't know what I'm doing, but it's like a lot of times it's like you're laying the train track, as like you're barreling down.

Adam Morgan:

Yeah.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. So it's been, I don't know, it's just been a journey, with a lot of twists and turns. And I mean really, it hasn't, and I say this a lot, like currently in my profession I'm often curious around other people's trajectory, right? So I work in a marketing org, right. And we're creative within a marketing org. And there is a trajectory for people who primarily do the marketing arm and day-to-day business. And around creative it's a little bit more elusive and a little bit more slippery. And you've got to kind of like define it. It's something... Yeah. You're [inaudible 00:26:12] it looks like.

Adam Morgan:

Yeah, I have a whole presentation coming up with at [Max 00:26:16] that's all about how do you drive a creative career on purpose. Because it is so elusive.

Lucia Matioli:

Oh, yeah.

Adam Morgan:

Back to [inaudible 00:26:24] Just pull out some nuggets of just hearing you talk, here's some great tips to our listeners of things that you've done in your career that I think are really critical that other people can do. And one is a mentor. And not just on a mentor, I think here's the problem. People don't realize they need to get a mentor earlier than they think, like really start off early in your career and get a really good mentor and stick with them. And they also forget later in their career. They're like, "Oh, I've learned it all. I know everything I don't need to." But really even as an executive creative director or moving on, there are so many other possibilities that we as a creative leadership group are not exploring enough of, of becoming the CEO of becoming the CMO.

Adam Morgan:

And I think, again, stepping into that territory of the unknown, getting a mentor, even if you're an ECD, is critical. Sometimes people call it like getting your board of trustees, like your board of directors, your personal board of directors. And I think that is critical, of having those leaders in different fields, and in different areas of influence that can help you anywhere along your journey with advice. Because it's not like we know everything. New experiences all the time. So I think that's a critical point. Make sure you get your mentors early and late.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah.

Adam Morgan:

Another thing that just observing when you're talking about your career is a variety of experiences too. I think many times some of us get in and say, "Okay, I'm just going to be an art director. And then I used to be an art director and I go to the next job and I'm an art director and I keep doing that same thing." And you're not getting the variety of exposure. Whereas from you, starting your own company, trying different areas where you had to put on a business hat, doing anything you can. And for me, it was like working at a small agency versus a big agency of when you put on more hats than fewer hats. And even consulting or doing freelance or doing... You consulted for a lot of startups, like even exposing yourself to startup land. I think all of those experiences have helped craft your career, have helped move you along because they've given you different perspectives. And I think that's critical.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. One more thing I wanted to interject because, as you were talking, I was thinking it is nice to have a little clarity here, right. And around like tools. The other tool that was actually kind of groundbreaking for me was working with a coach. So this happened about, I started, I've had a few, but the most significant was about three to four years ago. I was really like, gosh, marketing myself, doing all these things I need to do for my business, making sure there's current work stream, et cetera, et cetera. While being like a sole proprietor, small entity, I was like, I'm tired. Right? I just got tired. You have to hustle, man. It's like the hustle is real. The hustle is real.

Lucia Matioli:

So I was like, okay, I know I want to take the next step to really go full-time, kind of like make that commitment and ground myself. And I worked with somebody and we developed a list of like values that were just kind of barometers to what am I looking for. Because I had gotten so accustomed to just doing so many different things. And again, to that point of ambiguity right around well, what are the next steps? Like what could be not only things that make me happy creatively, but also interesting and challenging, right. To really take these different parts of problem solving and solution oriented profession.

Lucia Matioli:

So I started this really kind of, it was like an encumbered walk in the beginning, really like taking steps forward and discovering more about myself and what made me tick, and what I was actually looking for, and what was important to me, and the type of environment and the types of... I mean, so many different things.

Lucia Matioli:

And so that kind of opened up an opportunity I took for like six months where I was traveling back and forth to LA and really started wearing that hat of the leader. And then I took this job at [Udemy 00:06:58], which was like my next step.

Lucia Matioli:

And now I'm also working with a coach who, interestingly enough, we had talked about a CMO/CEO. And it's like, I never even thought of that before. And I was like, holy crap, could that be a posi... You know what I mean? That's the thing is, we're so... I think there's something really interesting that happens when you're so close to the work. And then when you start stepping away from the work your perceptions start to open too. And like the opportunities start to open, and a way of thinking starts to open. Because one of the things I realized is gosh, I have for years brought people to market. It's like of course I know. It's like numbers are not my strong suit, but I could learn all that.

Lucia Matioli:

You know what I mean? Like, I don't know, you know? So like now that's... I have a session with my coach today and last week she was like, "Okay, I want you to think about what's next." And I'm like, oh, wow.

Adam Morgan:

That's awesome.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah, it is awesome. And it's interesting when you also get the confidence, right. To make those steps and to just set the intention. Right. Like it sets sort of that trajectory in place. What happens, right, with the conspiring of the universe and meeting people, and your connections. That's what I mean. Right. Part of it is you're at the right place at the right time. And then another part of it is you just show up and do the work. You put one step in front of the other.

Lucia Matioli:

And also too, I think another critical thing is maintain your relationships. That kind of fits a little bit in line of mentorship. It's like I meet so many interesting, amazing people in the course of the day that oftentimes I'm well, that's it too. You know? It's all dependent on who I meet. Because people, they throw your name around, right? You show up, you do your job, you work hard. You're a good person. Also limits. People trust you. You do what you say you're going to do. They'll remember your name. Right. And people bring you along for the ride. That's been kind of the course of my career too, is knowing people.

Adam Morgan:

Oh, I love that. I love it. Even just... I can't emphasize enough. Just seeing both my experience in talking with you and other creative leaders, that those who are making it up to the top, those who are having positions or finding positions as ECD or chief creative officer are very purposeful. Like you're even getting a coach at this point in your career. People may think, oh, you've arrived. Right. But you're getting a coach and you're thinking purposeful about the next step and what you need to learn and what your personal gaps are. I mean that's really good work that all of us can do, whether we're starting out or we're later in our career. It's so, so critical.

Adam Morgan:

I want to back up a little bit more too on some other things that you mentioned and the word spark is one of them. Because it's so elusive. There's so many times people are like, "What are you like"? And you can say when you see the spark, you can just feel it. Let's dig into that a little bit more, of what is the spark. So that as people are wanting to make that step, are they showing the spark? Are they expressing the spark?

Adam Morgan:

And then I also want to talk about sometimes people aren't ready. Sometimes they don't have the spark. Sometimes it's just very clear. And from their perspective, they're like I've done all the work. I've done everything that I need to. But why am I not a creative director? And so I'd love to have you talk from your perspective of seeing the spark. And then how do you have those conversations when someone's not ready? How do you be transparent or very direct and let them know what they need to work on?

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. I mean this is a very fruitful conversation. And one that I think is... It's very, I don't know, it's actually something I'm going through right now with somebody that I'm working with.

Lucia Matioli:

And so there's a couple things. I think it's like I'm very passionate about what I do. I show up authentically and as myself, and I think that is equally important, right, to the work. Right.

Lucia Matioli:

It's the same as when you know you see something and it's like, yes, that's the idea. That's the story we want to tell. That's the intention we want to bring to life. It just, it hits you gutterly and there's a lot of work we're doing right now that's like, yes, that feels right. You know, it just feels right. And I think the same is true with people, you can see their commitment and their passion. They're willing to sort of, and I don't mean this in as intense of a way as maybe it's going to come out, but they're willing to do whatever it takes. It's like you have that... It's like that, somebody I work with calls it fire belly. If you have that fire belly, right. Where it's a guttural feeling and you just know.

Lucia Matioli:

Feeling, and you just know. Especially in our profession, there's many different players, right? There's different types of designers, there's the cerebral designers, there's the designers for stylistic sake, there's the designers that are, "No, I want to get in there and go deep into what is the strategy." There's many, many different kinds, and they all have a place. And however, when you get those people that are willing to show up that, I think it was a humility too, in my book. I think the people that really stand apart, they're very humble to do, they want to do the right thing, and there's, again, mentioned the ego, they're ego lists.

Lucia Matioli:

They're willing to show up and work with people who are difficult or challenging situations, not everything is laid out. And when I first got on board with you, [inaudible 00:36:59], I just kept saying, "Clear is mad, because it's, I don't have the roadmap as well as, it's this idea of more will be revealed, right? Like a step at a time. Just a step at a time, it'll get better. And there were people that came along for that, that still showed up, right? that still did great work, that would take direction and feedback, right? Because it's difficult when you show up to a whole new team, and they're like, "Who the hell are you, what is your vision?

Lucia Matioli:

You have to be clear in uncertainty, and vagueness or whatever. but there are those people that, they just do the work, you can trust them, there's a trust. And then to your point, there are people who want... How do I say this? There are people that want things before they're ready to actually have them. They think they are doing the work, but it's not really the right work, it's challenging in a difficult conversation. Then I take it on as, "Well, I can help you get there, wherever you are in your journey, whether you're here with me, or whether you go someplace else, how can I help you understand a little bit more, and really root yourself in?" And it's not my agenda, so I want to be come cautious, but teaching somebody.

Lucia Matioli:

And there's a lot of teaching, right? And it goes back to that mentorship coach, right? Again to coach somebody along, and I've had people on my teams before, where I don't know, people don't like change, and they don't want to do the work, or maybe they want to do the work, but they think there's some,... I don't know, it'a difficult sort of topic and conversation. The other thing too, it's not one size fits all, and it's also, you have to be conscious of bias, right? In terms of, "Well, this person's great, this other person isn't, so let me [inaudible 00:39:15] them.

Lucia Matioli:

I mean, I've had that quite frankly before, where it's, I have to watch my judgment with people because they turn around and they blossom and flourish. If you give them enough of what they need, and I'd say for me, it's a lot of whittling away, and not even a whittling away, it's a whittling away in terms of communication, right? How can I be clear about purposeful and set an intention, and also be, also to me, empathy has got to be off the charts. And unless somebody is really not performing, it's like giving somebody the opportunity, I always believe in that because I have seen mirracles happen in front of me. Right?

Adam Morgan:

Yeah.

Lucia Matioli:

Where I'm like, "Who the hell is this person, wow? I didn't know they had this talent, you nurture it, right? So it's finding that balancing in terms of really helping nurturing somebody, and giving them time. And I found this too, what is the appropriate amount of time to give to somebody, right? To see whether they can come along for the ride, or if perhaps it's not the right fit. It's a conversation I don't take lightly, and also one that I'm still, to your point, I'm still learning about. I'm learning, what is the best way to be clear with my communication, especially when I might not be clear of ultimately, 100% the end result, right?

Lucia Matioli:

You have to show up and be a leader, and that's with a lot of uncertainty, and maintain sort of the ship, if you will. And yeah, it's a hard one. It's definitely a hard one, but I find that I have to show up with as much curiosity and openness-

Adam Morgan:

Yeah.

Lucia Matioli:

... I think, [inaudible 00:41:16] the person challenged in the role, if they want to be someplace else. And also asking questions too, there's a lot of, "Where do you want to be, why do you want to be there, what do you think this takes?" And, "Do a job description, I'll do a job description of what I think the role is, where I think we're moving." I mean, there's a lot we can pull from to help, but it's yeah, it's not easy.

Adam Morgan:

Well, thank you so much [Luchia 00:05:44], for being with us today, and talking about the jump to becoming a creative director. Now, before we leave, how can people find you, how can they get in touch with you, what are some of your handles or ways that we can connect with you?

Lucia Matioli:

You can always find me on LinkedIn, I think that's a great tool and resource. I mean, I'm happy to give my email, I'll just give it out, it's just luchia.mattioli@gmail.com. And, yeah. I'd love to hear from people. You can also check out my work at goodthinkingco.com, and there's also links to how to reach me there. But yeah, I feel like I could probably talk another 10 hours on this [crosstalk 00:42:28] because it's so scratching the surface, there's just so much detail to run through, but I think you're providing an amazing resource, and tool for people.

Lucia Matioli:

I wish I had the resources, but I also am, part of it is discovery and exploration, right? It's you get to figure out things as you go, which is also an amazing alignment with the creative process in general. So, I want to thank you for taking the time and giving me the time, it's been super great conversation.

Adam Morgan:

Well, thank you so much for joining us, and giving your personal background and experience as well. I think that's the learning processes everyone can just learn from, everyone else's experience, which is fantastic. So, thank you so much for joining us.

Lucia Matioli:

Yeah. Thank you. Thanks Adam. Thanks [inaudible 00:43:18], I appreciate it.

Adam Morgan:

Bye.

Lucia Matioli:

Bye.

Adam Morgan:

So thanks for joining. If you want to watch our next episode, we are excited to continue to bring you all the topics that you need as a creative leader. You can find us now on YouTube, you can also find us at realcreativeleadership.com, and sign up, so that you get notified when the next session is available. And with YouTube, or even, now it's all on your favorite podcast channel as well. We'd love it if you would just subscribe, so that you'll know when a new session comes along as well. And if you want to join the conversation, part of real creative leadership is building this community. Join us on our website, add in the comments, help us continue these conversations.

Adam Morgan:

Even let us know if there are conversations that we need to talk about, that are really urgent in your life, so we can cover them and get some good perspective on them. You can find The Stoke Group at thestokegroup.com. Again, this is produced by The Stoke Group. Super grateful for them, we wouldn't have it if it wasn't for them, so if you need help with any of these things as a creative leader, they're the agency that can help you. And if you want to connect with me, you can go to adamwmorgan.com. You can see where I'm speaking next, information about my book, or articles that I'm writing. But as always, the best place is realcreativeleadership.com. Thank you so much, and we will see you next show. Thanks for joining.

Adam Morgan:

Thanks for listening to Real Creative Leadership. I'm your host, Adam Morgan, and this series was brought to you by The Stoke Group. For the most effective marketing, use both sides of your brain to align your strategy, creative execution, and analysis. Connect with The Stoke Group for help designing each step of your marketing plan, and creating a coherent vision. Visit thestokegroup.com, to learn more.